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Glen Lyon (A Song Cycle) by Martyn and Margaret Bennett


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Glen Lyon: A Song Cycle of Four Generations of Skye People.
Peter Stewart (Margaret's Great-grandfather), Peigi Stewart (Margaret's mother)Martyn Bennett (Margaret's Son) and Margaret Bennett

Glen Lyon is a song-cycle which takes its name from a remote area in the Central Highlands of Scotland. It is also the site of one of the most beautiful and haunting Gaelic laments, Griogal Cridhe. Both the song and the place have long been a source of fascination to many. This recording conveys an authentic reflection of those old ways without nostalgia or hint of overbearing anthropology. Many of the sounds of the songs have geological implications as well as seasonal ones, as Martyn spent several weeks making field recordings of elements such as wind and water, as well as agricultural and maritime machinery, birds, and even insects. The Gaelic song sung by Martyn's great-great-grandfather, Peter Stewart. He never saw an orchestra but was surrounded by nature's orchestra in his daily life - birds, horses, harness, ploughs and more. Today the land he planted lies fallow; not a ploughshare has turned it for years. But his music and the music of his people live on through each generation. Margaret and Martyn come from a long line of traditional singers, pipers and storytellers from the Isle of Skye and Lowland Scotland. Together, and individually, they have performed at festivals and concerts internationally. Margaret is one of the world’s foremost authorities on Scottish Folklore and Martyn’s multi-talented contribution as a musician and composer has had a major impact worldwide.


  1. Peter Stewart, 1910
  2. Buain a' choirce
  3. Suid mar chuir mi 'n geamhradh tharram
  4. Uamh an Oir
  5. A fhleasgaich ùir, leanainn thu
  6. Hò rinn ò
  7. A Theàrlaich òig
  8. Cumha lain Gairbh
  9. Hiùraibh ò, ghràidh an tig thu?
  10. Dh' èirich mi moch madainn Chèitein...
  11. Air bhith dhòmhsa
  12. Cumha Mhic Criomain
  13. Oran nam Mogaisean
  14. Fhir an leadain thlàth
  15. Griogal Cridhe


"...Glen Lyon is a bold, brilliant and often deeply moving synthesis of modern studio capabilities and the ageless potency of ancient songs, catalysed by one of the most fertile musical minds in the business." Sunday Herald.

 "Both Bennetts obviously love and respect these songs, with the result Margaret’s singing is always front and centre: one wonders why this album is not credited to Margaret and Martyn Bennett. Still Martyn’s skills as arranger, recordist, producer, and instrumentalist get a thorough workout without ever seeming to overwhelm the songs. The result is one of the most significant, interesting and powerful releases that either Bennett has been involved with in their many combined years of music making. It’s a refreshing album for anyone with an interest in Gaelic song". Dirty Linen, (Aug/Sept 2002)

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